BMW UK has been busy lately dusting off their classic fleet. We’ve already seen their E30 M3 and Z8 Roadster, but today, we’re in for a treat. A mint BMW M3 CSL (E46) joins the other classics for a special photoshoot reminding us of the golden days of motoring. Very few examples are left from the original 422 UK RHD cars in such a mint condition, and especially in Silver Grey. But what makes the E46 M3 CSL special? Simply because it’s a car that takes the performance, style, and exclusivity of the E46 M3 to a whole new level.
Only 422 with RHD in the UK
The M3 CSL was launched in 2003 as a limited edition model of the E46 M3. Only 1,383 units were produced, making it one of the most sought-after BMWs ever. The E46 M3 CSL stands for “Coupe Sport Lightweight” and it lives up to its name. The M3 CSL E46 had a lot of weight-saving measures, such as a carbon fiber roof, trunk lid, front bumper, rear diffuser, and intake manifold. Additionally, the M3 CSL also had thinner glass, lighter seats, and no sound insulation. The result was a car that weighed 110 kg less than the standard E46 M3.
360 hp and SMG
It also had a more powerful engine than the standard E46 M3. The 3.2-liter inline-six engine was tuned to produce 360 horsepower and 370 Nm of torque. The engine also had a higher compression ratio, a modified camshaft, and a larger air intake. The engine was paired with a six-speed SMG (a controversial gearbox though) that had faster shifts and a launch control function. The M3 CSL E46 could accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h in 4.9 seconds and reach a top speed of 250 km/h.
Handling is a few levels above than the standard E46 M3. The M3 CSL E46 had a stiffer suspension system that featured coil springs, dampers, and anti-roll bars that were specially designed for the car. The special M3 also had a more responsive steering system that had a quicker ratio and more feedback. The upgraded brake system had larger discs and calipers. The ESC system could be adjusted to three modes: on, off, or M track mode.
It was the looks that won the hearts of enthusiasts though. The E46 M3 CSL came with a more aggressive look, thanks to the carbon fiber parts, the 19-inch wheels, and unique colors: Silver Grey Metallic or Black Sapphire Metallic. It came with exclusive features inside, such as Alcantara steering wheel, handbrake lever, and gear knob, carbon fiber door panels and console trim, and Recaro bucket seats.
The M3 CSL E46 is one of the best cars ever made by BMW and one of the best sports cars of all time. It is a car that combines performance, style, and rarity in a way that few cars can match. If you are looking for a car that will make you feel special every time you drive it, you should definitely consider getting an M3 CSL E46. And if you don’t feel like driving it, it will make a great addition to any car collection.
[Photos: BMW UK]